Can I Sue for Negligence If I Was Hit by Someone Who Was Texting While Driving?
Distracted driving, of which texting while driving plays a large role, is the leading cause of car accidents. If you were hit by someone who was texting while driving, you can sue them for negligence.
In California, it is illegal to text while driving. The same holds true for sending an email or using instant messaging while behind the wheel.
Currently, those receiving a ticket for texting while driving do not receive points on their driver’s license, but that is scheduled to change as of July 1, 2021. If the driver has had a prior distracted driving offense within the past 36 months, another distracted driving conviction will add 1 point to their license. While texting while driving is considered criminal, it also is one of the most straightforward ways to prove that a driver is at fault for a collision in a personal injury lawsuit.
The Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries because of another driver’s negligence. Our attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for clients in settlements and verdicts.
Texting while driving
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), more than 9 percent of all fatal U.S. crashes are related to distracted driving. In fact, accidents relating to distracted driving now outnumber those caused by driving under the influence.
In 2018, more than 2,800 people nationwide were killed in distracted driving accidents, as per the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA). Another 400,000 suffered injuries in such accidents. Younger drivers, those aged 24 and under, are the most likely to text while driving, but this dangerous habit is found in all age groups.
In addition to banning texting while driving, California law forbids handheld cellphone use for all drivers, unless they are reporting an emergency.
A driver may think sending a brief text message will take “just a second.” In reality, during the approximately 5 seconds in which a driver composes and sends even a one- or two-word message, the vehicle may travel a football field’s length.
A plaintiff in a negligence case must prove how the defendant was at fault for the accident. A car accident lawyer will request to see the other driver’s cellphone records. This information should show whether they were texting and driving at the time of the crash.
In addition, the lawyer will investigate the circumstances of the case thoroughly. That may include interviewing any eyewitnesses to the crash or seeking surveillance video from nearby businesses or homes that may have recorded the collision.
Other distracted driving causes
While texting while driving is among the most common types of distracted driving, it is far from the only one. Any behavior in which the driver is not focused on the road can lead to distraction and a subsequent car accident. Such actions frequently include:
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Applying makeup or other types of personal grooming
- Loose pets in the vehicle
- Distraction from children or other occupants
- Rubbernecking at accidents or police activity
- Radio, GPS, CD player, or similar adjustment while driving.
Contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney
If you or a loved one were seriously injured due to another party texting while driving, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law today. Call or text 24/7 to schedule a free consultation, or submit our online form.
California’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case is two years from the date of the incident. If a person is killed in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, the family may file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the death date.
Seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Waiting too long to consult a lawyer means valuable evidence may vanish.
After evaluating your case, we will discuss your options going forward. Since our dedicated attorneys work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless we win.